How to Dance in Ohio is an honest, sweet, intense and refreshing glimpse into the lives of three young women on the autism spectrum who are preparing for a formal dance. It is a very fair look at the quirks, anxieties and how human people on the spectrum are, they just need some help. And the help is provided by Columbus doctor Emilo Amigo and his staff who work with young adults and adults on the spectrum with coping and social skills.
There is a beauty in the young women in their preparations for the dance that the filmmakers show us with great skill. It’s also a rare look at women on the spectrum, and it’s necessary. A lot of the film had me nodding in agreement, in that yes I’m there too with the parents on their journey in dealing with the challenges their children have. It’s an accurate depiction of young people coming of age.
The documentary is making the festival rounds now and is set to air on HBO on October 26th. I’d like to give a sincere thanks to Chris Stults of the Wexner Center for the Arts Film and Video Department for letting me know about the screening. It was a packed house full of people who were subjects of the film. There was also a very entertaining and moving post-screening talk by the director, producer and two of the ladies who appeared in the film. It was an honor to be in the audience.
Here is a link to a featurette about the documentary and an interview with Alexandra Shiva, the director.